The following information Kathleen has been collecting since starting in 1980. Information has been collected from industry trade shows bakery suppliers and other resources. This following information will continue to be updated; check back from time to time or email Kathleen at Contact Us with any questions you may have in regards to ingredients. If you have any information you would like to share, please let Kathleen know.
Liquid Flavorings and Oil Essences
Liquid Flavorings and Oil Essences are more concentrated than flavorings. They are suitable for use in various foods, including all icings, chocolate and cream. Care should be taken not to add too much as the liquid could change the consistency.
Glycerin is used as an additive in royal icing to prevent the icing becoming too hard and brittle when the cake is cut. Use 5ml/1tsp of glycerin to 450g/1lb of icing sugar to make the icing softer (a higher proportion of glycerin could cause the collapse of a tiered cake). Only add glycerin to icing for covering the cake (flat or peaked icing), do not add glycerin for piping icing and decorations. To pipe melted chocolate add a few drops of glycerin to achieve a suitable piping consistency.
Liquid Glucose is used in the making of rolled fondant icing. It has a very thick consistency and the jar should be warmed in a pan of hot water as this will help to ensure accurate measuring. Too much glucose will cause the paste to be too sticky and difficult to use. Liquid glucose should not be used to make pastes for flower molding; Gum Tragacanth should be used instead.
Gum Tragacanth is a powder that can be added to fondant icing (10ml/2tsp of powder to 500g/1lb of icing) to give a more pliable consistency for molding flowers and free standing figures, and it will ensure that the decorations dry quickly and set harder than normal. Gum Tragacanth will also make royal icing more elastic and less likely to break when piping delicate string work.
Gum Arabic powder is mixed with water (10ml/2tsp of Gum Arabic with 60ml/2fl oz of water) to create an edible glue for sticking together any fine sugar paste work such as flower petals or small models. It can also be used as varnish for marzipan or rolled fondant icing. One layer of Gum Arabic will give a slight sheen and subsequent layers will build up to a very high gloss finish, each layer must dry before applying the next layer.
Gum Arabic can be used as a glue or glaze on crystallized fruits. To make the glaze blend 15ml/1 tablespoon of Gum Arabic to 45ml/3 tablespoons of warm water over a low heat until it is completely melted and clear, then strain it through a piece of muslin cloth. It can be stored in an airtight jar in a refrigerator for a few months; a few drops of brandy added to the glaze will increase its shelf life.
Gum Arabic Powder is used to make Edible Glitter Flakes, they are a colorful sugar flakes that can be sprinkled on to cakes as decoration.
To ensure the flakes adhere to the surface brush edible glue or egg white on to the area to be decorated and sprinkle with flakes.
Edible Glue is a ready-made option used to hold paste decorations, such as flowers, together. It can also be used as an alternative to egg white when applying glitter flakes.
Albumen Powder is used as a substitute for fresh egg white in royal icing and will achieve a very smooth finish to the icing. To reconstitute the powder mix 15g/½oz with 75ml/2.5fl.oz of water, it will be a lumpy, slimy liquid with a strong smell which is quite normal. Do not try to whisk out the lumps, leave them to dissolve for at least 15 minutes, or up to a couple of hours before using in the icing. The above quantity is sufficient to make 500g/1lb of icing.
Differences Between Whip Cream
Half and Half is half milk and half cream mixed together, with a fat content between 10-15%. It adds a richness milk does not, but is not thick enough to replace cream in recipes that call for cream. It will not whip like cream, either.
Light Cream fat content between 18-30%, also known as coffee cream. Light cream will not whip.
Whipping Cream is made specifically for whipping, contains 30-36% milk fat; often contains stabilizers and emulsifiers to ensure it keeps and holds its form when being whipped.
Heavy Cream also called heavy whipping cream, has a fat content between 36-40%.
Manufacturing Cream fat content over 40%, and is generally not available in retail stores. It is primarily used in professional food service.
Choice of Fat for Buttercreams
Choice of fat in a buttercream frosting relates closely to the stability. Often, some amount of vegetable shortening is combined with butter for better consistency and to add resistance to heat.
Sweet Unsalted & Salted Butter
Sweet cream unsalted butter is traditionally the fat of choice for buttercreams, as evidenced by the name. Butter provides a more delicate texture and superior flavor and texture when compared to vegetable shortening. Salted butter melts at a lower temperature making it more difficult to use and sweet unsalted butter takes a longer time to melt, making it more stable than one with salt. Coloring maybe added when using real butter is slightly off-white in the final frosting and will change colors when added; if adding blue it may change to green with the yellow tint of the butter.
Margarine and Shortening
Hydrogenated vegetable shortenings and margarine have become popular ingredients in commercial icings during the 20th century because they are cheaper and more stable at room temperature, and therefore easier to work with than butter. The whiter color is also favored, especially for wedding cakes. However, shortening does not dissolve in the mouth like butter, leading to a heavy, greasy feel inside of the mouth. The flavor of the buttercream is also not as intense. The resulting product raises health concerns due to the presence of trans fats in hydrogenated vegetable oils. Many margarines are virtually free of trans fats, but in the US, partially hydrogenated margarine is common.
High Ratio Shortening
High Ratio Shortening, commercial brands maybe purchase through a wholesale bakery supplier; sometimes available through a local cake and candy supply store. They come in a variety of brands and types, depending on the stability, consistency and taste you require.
I cannot remember where I found this information; it is a great reference!
The most common substitutes for eggs are:
- Soy Milk
- Egg Beaters
Additional advice from baker-contributors:
•Just add 150 ml of milk for every egg; it works just the same and you can’t even taste the difference.
•1 egg = 1 heaped tablespoon soya powder or 1/4 cup tofu.
•1 egg = 2 heaped tbsp potato starch or arrowroot powder.
•1 egg = 1 banana
•The other answers are some very interesting substitutes indeed. Unfortunately, they will be entirely ineffective at replacing eggs in a cake recipe. As any good food science book will tell you, eggs are a wholly unique and miraculous food product that contribute many things to a recipe. They are particularly useful for their versatile proteins and their emulsifying abilities. You may be able to use an egg substitute (egg beaters, for instance) but do not attempt to use condensed milk or applesauce as a substitute. Your recipe will be doomed.
•There is an egg substitute at your large local grocery store; it’s usually in the dairy section. It comes in a little cardboard container like a small carton of milk.
•If you are not allergic to eggs, please stick with eggs (they are healthier for you.) Another tip I found out is to find a meat market or a Health Food Store that sells “free range eggs” (they will also sell free-range beef and chicken.) I buy this because these eggs, chickens and beef are brought up the good old fashioned way, but still pass the Health/Food Administration (costs a little more.) If you buy the regular eggs they are filled with hormones, etc., and this is usually why you can get an allergic reaction. If you just don’t care for it then please get the egg substitute.
•Correction: You do not need eggs for most cakes. I have baked many cakes and never once have used eggs or even an egg substitute. They still came out moist and solid, and my friends and family couldn’t tell the difference.
•Condensed milk is a good substitute for eggs. Use a half-tin condensed milk for every 2.5 cups of flour used in the recipe.
•I have used applesauce in many of my cakes, including pancakes, and it works great! I add a little more than 1 tbs for each egg. Or, I use 2 tbsp of baby applesauce… it acts as a binder and keeps it moist.
•I add a cup of soy milk instead of an egg. Sometimes I add one banana and half a cup of soy milk, but I don’t ever add an egg to my cakes.
•To substitute for 1 egg you can use ingredients you already have. 1 Egg = 2 tbsp. flour 1/2 tbsp. butter 1/2 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. water
•Two years ago my daughter (who was 9) did a science project about this very subject. Basically, the eggs were binders to keep the cake together (and they did add flavor…). So the substitutes listed may ALL work (she tried lots of them herself). However, the use of applesauce created a dense and moist cake that her control groups (she brought every cake in to her class) devoured like crazy!
•You can always find a powdered egg replacer at any health food store – they work great. I grew up not eating eggs, and whenever my friends came over, they could never tell the difference in my mom’s baking. Just follow the directions on the box – this replacer is a baking substitute only, though.
•Flax seed can be used as a substitute for eggs. Grind 3 teaspoons flax seeds in a coffee grinder and whisk into boiling water. Leave it to stand for 5 minutes before adding to your cake mixture. You can also substitute many different ground seeds/grains etc. for the flour content in a cake if necessary.
•The closest replacement is milk. I wouldn’t try anything else.
•If it is just one egg you need, try taking a 1/4 cup measure, add 3 teaspoons of milk into it, and fill the rest of the measure with oil. (total milk and oil 1/4 cup). I use this for when I run out of eggs for potato pancakes.
•Using applesauce for a substitution for eggs in a cake is a horrible idea. The consistency of the cake turns into nothing but sticky crumbs. And forget about frosting it. Maybe applesauce is a good substitute for other recipes but definitely NOT for baking!
•Simply, 2 tablespoons of vanilla rice or soy milk for every egg.
•Don’t replace eggs or you’ll get Short Cake! The resulting cake will tend to be far more crumbly.
•There is no perfect substitute for eggs in a cake recipe if you want the cake to turn out right.
•If you are using a box cake mix you can use a can of pop such as 7-up or coke in place of all added ingredients.
•Use flaxseed – it works great! Grind 1-2 tbsp and then add a bit of water and heat on low until it turns into an “eggy” consistency. This would be for one egg… double for two!
•Another option is bananas (1-2 mashed = 1 egg) but bananas normally change the taste of the recipe, while flax seeds do not!
•Use a product called “egg replacement” – you may want to add a little more baking powder if you do this.
•Unfortunately most egg substitutes are actually egg whites, with the yolk removed, or some form of egg. The best commercially available products are going to be marketed as vegetarian or vegan egg substitutes. These usually contain a form of tofu or something similar that performs the functions of the egg, i.e., binding leavening. There are many replacements you can use, such as applesauce or flaxseed and water. These solutions vary and are found randomly on the internet.